How to influence progress and succeed in your company’s transformation

I used to talk about Agile, Scrum or Kanban a few years ago when planning a transformation but it is not what really matters when you want to help a company become a modern organization. A mix of complex social & emotional factors, new structures & processes and new values are needed for a company to sustainably change.

The bricks of the organization (people) also need to feel that they are pulling something into their lives that will help them make real progress. And that is something that companies forget when they are trying to evolve… the nature of progress and the structures to support the emotional implications.

Whatever you do as a Coach or Consultant, you should not think of Agile, Scrum or Kanban as a something that will produce an outcome but that will enable something new and help people make progress.

You should never push a framework thinking that it is a one-fit-all solution. The specific circumstances of each organization are fundamental to understand the type of techniques to be used, and that approach, will help you influence the progress you make in the company.

To do some real progress, you should always consider that your ideas always compete with the already established behaviours and shortcuts. That is why you need innovative experiences surrounding your definition of progress and understand that they are not always the same techniques. That tactic will help you overcome the forces of the old habits, but again, it is about creating new ways of progress which involve the social, structures and values.

Every friend of mine knows Louis Pasteur. It made the Milk you got in the morning safe to drink, and perhaps, that was one of his biggest impact on this world. But to be honest, he is responsible for so much more than Pasteurization.

Before than his breakthrough, Doctors believed that four different bodily fluids—blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile— were the center of almost any sickness. When the 4 were in harmony, the person was safe and sound. This theory was known as humorism and doctors, even they believed on it, they never knew why the imbalances happened. Most people followed the theory and some of them got well but most of them got even sicker and died.

What made Pasteur really successful was not just about his research to try to explain why people got sick but that he based his work on a theory called the “germ theory”. This theory was not originally from him but from Girolamo Fracastoro (1546), but he decided that would be the foundations for his research.

Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch worked to demonstrate that germs were transmitted through a process where microorganisms living everywhere invade a host and reproduce inside him, making the host sick.

Shifting their understanding from educated guesses to an underlying causal mechanism was a key part on this processes and made them progress on their research and finally succeed. As you can see, theories are useful to frame the right questions and provide powerful lensed that can see the challenges in different ways.

That is why it is really important to understand how your organization works if you want you lead this one and want to make sure that your company succeed.

Organisational theories are not new but are vastly ignored. Organisational theories can transform how you define your business, how you make things visible, the way you communicate & lead and how you make a change. They are among the most important and practical tools that business leaders need to have.

Theories enable to see solutions where they were not and change perspectives in a way that are irrevocably shifted but for better

A few weeks ago, I have the pleasure to talk about the Enterprise Social Systems Theory for a big audience in a Leadership webinar from Scrum Alliance, and today I want to make it available to you.

ESS is not just another framework but a powerful lens that can drive an assist the foundations for transformational change.

With the increase of computer power and market disruptions, leaders need solid blocks to build a more flexible and successful organization. And here is where the Enterprise Social Systems theory brings the right value.

ESS helps you make progress in a time of international turbulences and abrupt changes.

If you are still reading, it means that you are insterested in knowing more about it, so click below to watch the webinar about Enterprise Social Systems Theory.

And you can access to the original papers and documents describing the Enterprise Social Theory in here:

Hope you enjoy the webinar and look forward to getting your feedback and experiences of success.

Thanks for listening,
Erich Bühler

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